Emotional Intelligence 2.0 | Notes

Posted on August 5, 2016


Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves. Emotional Intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart, 2009. (255 pages)

Talent Smart’s site.

emotional intelligence2

1. The Journey

The communication between your emotional and rational “brains” is the physical source of emotional intelligence. The pathway for emotional intelligence starts in the brain, at the spinal cord. Your primary senses enter here and must travel to the front of your brain before you can think rationally about your experience. However, first they travel through the limbic system, the place where emotions are generated. So, we have an emotional reaction to events before our rational mind is able to engage. Emotional intelligence requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain. (7)

Overcoming Mind Blindness with EQ

2. The Big Picture

Good decisions require far more than factual knowledge. They are made using self-knowledge and emotional mastery when they’re needed most. (14)

…all emotions are derivations of five core feelings: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and shame. (14)

EQ2 Five Core Feelings

You have no control over this part [emotional] of the process. You do control the thoughts that follow an emotion, and you have a great deal of say in how you react to an emotion–as long as you are aware of it. (16-17)

Intelligence is your ability to learn, and it’s the same at age 15 as it is at age 50. EQ, on the other hand, is a flexible skill that can be learned. (18)

[via: I have some contentions with this, namely that the factors that influence the “quotient” are far bigger than mere age. And to say that EQ is “flexible” and “learned” while IQ is not seems dubious to me. I want some sort of support for this statement, which the authors do not give.]

The link between EQ and earnings is so direct that every point increase in EQ adds $1,300 to an annual salary. These findings hold true for people in all industries, at all levels, in every region of the world. We haven’t yet been able to find a job in which performance and pay aren’t tied closely to EQ. (22)

[via: Are the authors also considering not-for-profit and humanitarian work?]

3. What Emotional Intelligence Looks Like: Understanding the Four Skills

EQ Four SkillsSelf-Awareness. The need for self-awareness has never been greater. Guided by the mistaken notion that psychology deals exclusively with pathology, we assume that the only time to learn about ourselves is in the face of crisis. We tend to embrace those things with which we’re comfortable, and put the blinders on the moment something makes us uncomfortable. But it’s really the whole picture that serves us. The more we understand the beauty and the blemishes, the better we are able to achieve our full potential. (27)

Self-Management. Self-management is what happens when you act–or do not act. … Self-management is your ability to use your awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and direct your behavior positively. (32)

Social Awareness. Social awareness is your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on with them. (38)

Social awareness ensures you stay focused and absorb critical information. (38)

To be socially aware, you have to spot and understand people’s emotions while you’re right there in the middle of it–a contributing, yet astutely aware, member of the interaction. (39)

Relationship Management. Relationship management is also the bond you build with others over time. People who manage relationships well are able to see the benefit of connecting with many different people, even those they are not fond of. (44)

The weaker the connection you have with someone, the harder it is to get your point across. (44)

4. Digging In: An Action Plan to Increase Your EQ

Increases in the traffic strengthen the connection between the rational and emotional centers of your brain. Your EQ is greatly affected by your ability to keep this road well traveled. The more you think about what you are feeling–and do something productive with that feeling–the more developed this pathway becomes. (51)

[via: This sounds a little like EMDR work towards a “fully-integrated brain.”]

Your brain can’t swell like your biceps since it’s confined by your skull, so instead the brain cells develop new connections to speed the efficiency of thought without increasing its size. (52)

5. Self-Awareness Strategies

Simply put, to be self-aware is to know yourself as you really are. (61)

  1. Quit Treating Your Feelings as Good or Bad. The downfall of attaching such labels to your emotions is that judging your emotions keeps you from really understanding what it is that you are feeling. When you allow yourself to sit with an emotion and become fully aware of it, you can understand what is causing it. (64)
  2. Observe the Ripple Effect form Your Emotions. The key to observing the ripple effects of your emotions is to watch closely how they impact other people immediately, and then use that information as a guide for how your emotions are bound to affect a wider circle long after you unleash the motion. (67)
  3. Lean into Your Discomfort. Rather than avoiding a feeling, your goal should be to move toward the emotion, into it, and eventually through it. (68)
  4. Feel Your Emotions Physically.
  5. Know Who and What Pushes Your Buttons.
  6. Watch Yourself Like a Hawk… Wouldn’t it be great to be the hawk, looking down upon yourself in those sticky situations that tend to get the better of you? … Your objectivity would allow you to step out from under the control of your emotions and know exactly what needed to be done to create a positive outcome. (75)
  7.  Keep a Journal about Your Emotions. The biggest challenge to developing self-awareness is objectivity. (78)
  8. Don’t Be Fooled by a Bad Mood.
  9. Don’t Be Fooled by a Good Mood, Either.
  10. Stop and Ask Yourself Why You Do the Things You Do.
  11. Visit Your Values.
  12. Check Yourself. …notice your mood and consider its influence upon your demeanor. (89)
  13. Spot Your Emotions in Books, Movies, and Music.
  14. Seek Feedback. …be sure to get specific examples and situations, and as you gather the answers, look for similarities in the information. (93)
  15. Get to Know Yourself under Stress. Your self-awareness in times of stress should serve as your third ear to listen to your body’s cries for help. Your body speaks volumes when you push it too hard. (95)

6. Self-Management Strategies

Self-management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to actively choose what you say and do. (97)

A high level of self-management ensures you aren’t getting in your own way and doing things that limit your success. It also ensures you aren’t frustrating other people to the point that they resent or dislike you. (98)


  1. Breathe Right. …making yrouself breathe right calms you down and makes you feel better by powering up your rational brain. (103)
  2. Create an Emotion vs. Reason List. Now, ask yourself two important questions: Where are your emotions clouding your judgment, and where is your reason ignoring important cues from your emotions? (104)
  3. Make Your Goals Public. …their awareness of your progress creates an incredible sense of accountability. | Much of self-management comes down to motivation, and you can use the expectations that other people have of you as a powerful force to get you up off the proverbial couch. (106)
  4. Count To Ten. Adulthood has a funny way of making us lose sight of some simple, yet profound, strategies for self-control. (108)
  5. Sleep On It.
  6. Talk To a Skilled Self-Manager.
  7. Smile and Laugh More. Did you know that when you laugh and smile, your face sends signals to your brain that you are happy? (114)
  8. Set Aside Some Time in Your Day for Problem Solving.
  9. Take Control of Your Self-Talk. The thoughts that are most influential are those where you literally talk to yourself. Though you might not realize you ahve these thoughts, we all have an internal voice inside our head that affects our perception of things. (117)
    1. Turn I always or I never into just this time or sometimes.
    2. Replace judgmental statements like I’m an idiot with factual ones like I made a mistake.
    3. Accept responsibility for your actions and no one else’s. (119)
  10. Visualize Yourself Succeeding.
  11. Clean Up Your Sleep Hygiene.
    1. Get twenty minutes of morning sunlight.
    2. Turn off the computer at least two hours before bedtime.
    3. Keep your bed for sleeping.
    4. Avoid caffeine, especially in the p.m. (122-123)
  12. Focus Your Attention on Your Freedoms, Rather than Your Limitations.
  13. Stay Synchronized. When you can’t keep your body language in check, it is a clear sign that your emotions are getting the best of you. (125)
  14. Speak to Someone Who is Not Emotionally Invested in Your Problem.
  15. Learn a Valuable Lesson from Everyone You Encounter.
  16. Put a Mental Recharge into Your Schedule.
  17. Accept That Change is Just around the Corner. The first step is to admit to yourself that even the most stable, trusted facets of your life are not completely under your control. (133)

7. Social Awareness Strategies

Tuning into others’ emotions as you interact with them will help you get a more accurate view of your surroundings, which affects everything from relationships to the bottom line. (136)

The lens you look through must be clear. (137)


  1. Greet People by Name.
  2. Watch Body Language.
  3. Make Timing Everything.
  4. Develop a Back-pocket Question. A back-pocket question is what you use just in case to bail you out of any awkward silence or uncomfortable moment. … Pick form a handful of issues that require some explanation like work or current events, but avoid politics, religion, and other potentially sensitive areas. (145)
  5. Don’t Take Notes at Meetings.
  6. Plan Ahead for Social Gatherings.
  7. Clear Away the Clutter. Remind yourself that you are in the conversation to listen and learn something, not to wow the other person with your insightful remarks. (153)
  8. Live in the Moment.
  9. Go on a 15-minute Tour.
  10. Watch EQ at the Movies.
  11. Practice the Art of Listening.
  12. Go People Watching.
  13. Understand the Rules of the Culture Game.
  14. Test for Accuracy. …just ask. (166)
  15. Step into Their Shoes.
  16. Seek the Whole Picture. Believe it or not, what others say about you is usually more accurate than what you think about yourself. (172)
  17. Catch the Mood of the Room.

8. Relationship Management Strategies


  1. Be Open and Be Curious. Being open means sharing information about yourself with others. …when people know about you, there’s less room for them to misinterpret you. (180) The more you show interest in and learn about the other person, the better shot you have at meeting his or her needs and not misinterpreting them. (181)
  2. Enhance Your Natural Communication Style.
  3. Avoid Giving Mixed Signals. People trust what they see over what they hear. (185)
  4. Remember the Little Things That Pack a Punch.
  5. Take Feedback Well.
  6. Build Trust. “Trust is a peculiar resource; it is built rather than depleted by use.” (191)
  7. Have an “Open-door” Policy.
  8. Only Get Mad on Purpose. Expressing anger in appropriate ways communicates your strong feelings and reminds people of the gravity of a situation. (196)
  9. Don’t Avoid the Inevitable.
  10. Acknowledge the Other Person’s Feelings. You don’t have to agree with the way people are feeling, but you do have to recognize those feelings as legitimate and respect them. (201-202)
  11. Complement the Person’s Emotions or Situation.
  12. When You Care, Show It.
  13. Explain Your Decisions, Don’t Just Make Them.
  14. Make Your Feedback Direct and Constructive. Here’s how to think about feedback and EQ–giving feedback is a relationship-building event that requires all four EQ skills to be effective. (211) Constructive feedback has two parts: sharing your opinion and offering solutions for change. (212)
  15. Align Your Intention with Your Impact.
  16. Offer a “Fix-It” Statement during a Broken Conversation. …let go of blame and focus on the repair. Do you want to be right, or do you want a resolution? (218)
  17. Tackle a Tough Conversation.

Epilogue–Just the Facts: A look at the Latest Discoveries in Emotional Intelligence

Although this seems counterintuitive, it turns out that paying attention to your emotions is the most logical way to make good decisions. (234)

Too many leaders are promoted because of what they know or how long they have worked, rather than for their skill in managing others. (236)